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New Blog

July 18, 2012 Leave a comment

I created a new blog that I will use to log the training progress of my two dogs.  You can see it here.  This will keep me from flooding my personal blog with training related stuff.

Categories: Uncategorized

Curiosity nearly killed the cat

June 20, 2012 Leave a comment

One dark night, I decided to talk Loki for a walk when I noticed he was tracking something.  Curious to see what it was, I let him continue the track.   So we work our way around the house, when he switches from tracking mode to stalking mode (his ears go back, he puts his head down, and walks very slowly).  At this stage I had no idea what he had noticed, but I was still curious what he was after.  Next thing I know he pounced.  There was no scream, no cry for help, just a pounce and before I could react he was locked onto a cat’s neck.  The cat couldn’t do anything but try, desperately to breath.  I grabbed Loki by the harness and pried the cat out of his mouth; it ran off never to be seen again.

Loki honing his cat murdering skills on a rope toy.

Loki honing his cat murdering skills on a rope toy.

 

Before anybody accuses me of raising a vicious dog, you have to understand Shiba Inus.  They have high prey drives; they were bred for hunting wild boars in Japan.  Dogs with high prey drives like to eat things.  This can be a wild boar, or your neighbors pet cat.  If it is smaller than them, and it will run away from them, they will kill it and eat it.   Now, a retriever may have fetched the cat, a mastiff might protect it, a collie would probably herd it, Shibas will kill it.  The exception here is when they are introduced at very young ages.

Loki stalking a bug

Loki stalking a bug

 

I’m considering a second dog.  My first thought was “cool, i’ll get another Shiba”.  When I told my family this their first words were, “here is the number for a good shrink, call him”.  I absolutely love Shibas, but I think I have decided to go with a Siberian husky for my second dog; perhaps one of these gals.  Siberian Huskies are Intelligent and Independent, which are qualities I love in Loki.  They can be just as stubborn, and sometimes aloof.   They are generally more people friendly, however.  I want a people friendly dog to help balance out the pack.  On the other hand, if I combine the mischievous nature of a Shiba Inu with the strength and power of a Siberian Husky, I could be in trouble.

Categories: Life, Loki, Uncategorized

Trekking across monte sano state park with a shiba

December 5, 2011 Leave a comment

I decided, since Loki is now 6 months old, to take him hiking. This involved two separate hikes to gauge his fitness level. The first hike was short, but over different trail difficulties. The second one was long, but over relatively easy trails.

The first hike was about 2 miles of easy trails, with about a half mile of double black diamond level. Loki did excellent over this, and the Shiba’s ability to jump 4 feet in the air from a standing position helped him conquer the obstacles that were in our way. He rather enjoyed the challenge, and seemed to have more energy at the end of the hike then at the beginning. Some of these climbs were rather hard, with 45% grades in some spots, but he held his own and never needed to be carried over the obstacles.

Loki checking out the view on a double black diamond trail

The second hike, was to gauge his stamina, instead of his athletic ability.  And as such, it was a combination of two trails (North and South Plateau Loops)  for a combined total of 5 miles.  He did outstanding for the first 4.5 miles, but I had to carry him for the last half mile as he just ran out of steam.  Now that I know his limits, I can start working on getting him in better shape.  Eventually, I expect, this Shiba will be able to out hike me, but he has a long way to go.  I am going to start planning hikes every weekend towards this goal, and planning long 3 mile walks during the weekdays which I expect to help.

It actually amazes me how unprepared people are on these hikes.  I met an older pair of women on a 3.6 mile trail, not long by any means, who carried zero water with them.  I met them on the trail and had to donate some water for them and their poor dogs.  Dogs dehydrate quicker then we do, so you always want to bring water with you on hikes.  Coming prepared is also a good idea if you get lost.  Even on day hikes I like to carry food (bring kibble for your dog) and water like I’m staying overnight and bring things like a rope, axe and shovel, and other supplies I’d need to survive if I wound up lost.  These things generally don’t weigh that much, often less then 10 lbs total, so its not a big deal and will help develop your core muscles.

In closing, hiking is a wonderful activity, and a load of fun for both you and your subservient quadruped, however please, for the love of god, don’t go into a forest unprepared.  It’s bad for both you and your dog.

Categories: Uncategorized